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Fri, 27 July, 2012Hamilton leads both practice sessions in Hungary

  • Lewis Hamilton (McLaren MP4-27). 2012 Australian Grand Prix, Rd 1, Race day. Melbourne, Australia. Sunday 18 March 2012. © McLaren.

Lewis Hamilton was the man to beat as the action got underway in Budapest today, with the Briton going fastest in both practice sessions ahead of Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix. Hamilton led an uneventful first practice session ahead of team-mate Button before rain arrived to disrupt the action in practice two, when Kimi Räikkönen was second-best.

High temperatures greeted teams and drivers for the morning session as preparations got underway, with 90 minutes of interrupted running. Hamilton set the pace at 1m22.821s, one tenth clear of team-mate Button who in turn had a further five tenths to spare over third-placed Fernando Alonso. The only incident of note was a near coming-together between Pastor Maldonado and Heikki Kovalainen, with the former taking to the gravel trap to avoid contact at turn 8.

The afternoon session began in similarly hot and dry conditions, with the expected arrival of rain heralding a scramble for the pit exit as soon as the clock began to tick down. Towards the end of the dry running Hamilton had posted a 1m21.995s to head the times, followed by Lotus's Kimi Räikkönen (1m22.180s) and Williams' Bruno Senna (1m22.253s). The rain then arrived to scupper the chance of further improvements, as extreme wets and then intermediates became the tyre to be on.

Michael Schumacher was the only driver to be seriously caught out by the tricky conditions, as he aquaplaned into the barriers at turn 12 when his intermediates failed to keep him pointing in the right direction. He was the only driver to crash in the wet, although Lotus's Romain Grosjean had earlier spun into the barriers in the dry, breaking his front nose. He was able to get back on-track following some repairs though.

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